An introduction to the Democratic candidates for Cook County board president.
Just tuning into the upcoming primary election? Want to acquaint yourself with the top-tier candidates? Below is a run-down of those Democrats vying for Cook County board president. For each candidate, we've provided a brief bio, an informative video, endorsement information, and a link to the policy questionnaires they've filled out.
You can also meet the statewide and U.S. Senate candidates here. And if you're a 10th congressional district constituent, read our summary of that race here. Not sure who is going to appear on your ballot? Plug your address into the eVoter database to find out.
Toni Preckwinkle began her career as a high school history teacher, before being elected as 4th Ward aldermen, representing Hyde Park. Among the highlights of her City Council career are shepherding through affordable housing and living wage ordinances. Check out her full bio here.
Here is Preckwinkle in a September 24 interview with ABC 7:
You can watch more Preckwinkle video footage here.
Each major newspaper in Cook County -- from the Trib and Sun-Times to the SouthtownStar and the Daily Herald -- has endorsed Preckwinkle, dubbing her the "reformer" in the race. And dozens of smaller newspapers across the region have followed suit. Progressive groups across the region are also endorsing Preckwinkle's bid. Among her largest institutional backers are the Illinois chapter of the Sierra Club, Independent Voters of Illinois- Independent Precinct Organizations (IVI-IPO) and the SEIU Illinois State Council (which sponsors this website). Check out the full list here. Dozens of elected officials, ward and township organizations, and progressive Illinois officials are lining up behind her as well.
Incumbent Cook County board president Todd Stroger was thrust into office unexpectedly when his father, the late-John Stroger, suffered a stroke on the eve of a heated primary election in 2006. The younger Stroger he got his career started by working for his father's administration and then the Chicago Park District. In the 1990s, he served in the Illinois House. Then in 2001, Mayor Daley tapped him to fill a vacant 8th Ward seat. Check out his bio here.
Here is Stroger in a November 22 interview with ABC 7:
Check out Stroger's YouTube channel here.
Stroger has failed to garner any endorsements from major newspapers. He's generated most of his political support from within the black community. Among his most vocal backers are a set of Chicago ministers, more than a dozen south suburban mayors and U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush. He also touts the support of committeemen in Chicago's 46th , 6th, 47th, 9th, 16th,18th, 34th and 21st wards.
Dorothy Brown was first elected Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County in 2000. However, she began her career in the private sector as an accountant and an attorney. In 1991, she was named Chicago Transit Authority's Auditor General. She held that job for nearly a decade. Check out her full bio here.
Here's Brown in an October 18 interview with ABC 7:
Brown's most high-profile endorsements come from U.S. Rep. Danny Davis and Chicago Ald. Roberto Maldonado. She cites a handful of small ethnic organizations that are backing her bid as well.
Terry O'Brien was elected a commissioner of the Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago in 1988. And he rose to board president in 1997. He's made his fortune, however, through a series of private companies -- namely K-Plus Environmental LLC and some K-Plus subsidiaries -- that have snagged millions in local government contracts.
Here's O'Brien in a November 1 interview with ABC 7:
O'Brien's hasn't landed any newspaper endorsements. However, he is touting support from ward organizations that come exclusively from Chicago's Northwest and Southwest sides. A handful of suburban mayors, state legislators, and former State’s Attorney Richard Devine are also on his list of endorsements. And Chicago's Fraternal Order of Police and some other trade unions are backing his bid.